Research Projects
NSERC Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Network

Research Projects

Project Title: 
Evaluating the performance of proposed and existing IMTA systems using an ecosystem modeling approach

Project Description: 
The IMTA (Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture) concept supports sustainable aquaculture by proximate culture of compatible species, so one species’ waste can become the nutritional inputs for another. Ideally, this will augment growth, while the recapture of nutrients will help mitigate the potential for negative environmental effects. However, the design of ocean based IMTA farms is not trivial due to the complexity of coastal areas, particularly because biological processes in open-waters are influenced by water circulation which includes the distribution of finfish wastes. Consequently, the design of new IMTA sites or the evaluation of existing sites require a combined study of biological and physical processes, which can be achieved by the execution and coupling of mathematical models. These models allow custom configuration for specific areas, enabling the exploration of management alternatives which can ultimately provide objective outcomes for the selection of ideal IMTA locations and/or farm configurations. These models can also be used to predict potential effects on the local ecosystem, which is crucial for aquaculture stakeholders as a means to anticipate effects and proactively respond if necessary. Consequently, the goal of this project is to construct a highly configurable mathematical model that can be applied at the apparent spatial scale for IMTA sites. As a case study, the model will be applied to an IMTA site on the West coast of Canada (Kyuquot SEAfoods Ltd.) in order to evaluate its performance and explore different management alternatives for improving farm efficiency.

Project Leader Name: 
Jon Grant, Dalhousie University

Project Leader E-mail Contact: 

Team Members’ Names and Affiliations (Researchers and Students): 
Ramón Filgueria (DalU)
Gregor Reid (UNBSJ - DFO SABS)

(Ramón Filgueira (DalU) presenting modeling work done to date with project D1P9 at the CIMTAN Annual General Meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 13-16, 2014 )

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